Auto body shop 101 - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
Jeep-Short Wheelbase All discussion of short wheelbase Jeeps: CJ, TJ, YJ and JK

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-11-2000, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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Auto body shop 101

Well Ive got a little time today,so Im gonna try to straighten out the wrinkles in the corners on the YJ. I have a few questions. I bought a hammer and dollie set at Harbor Freight, I could easily see how I could create more damage than repairs with this stuff.Ive been a framer for 18 years I was confused when I saw no corrugation on the hammers. Any tips at all would be helpfull. Also the Slide Hammer, Oh, I see the principal behind it but Im visioning a hundred holes with everything pulled past where I needed it except for the low spot I was trying to pull out. The Bondo part of done before,but with Frankenstein results. Im determined to learn just point me in the right direction. Since I have my hammers and bags on, will I need my Skilsaw?

89 Wrangler
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-11-2000, 08:57 AM
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Re: Auto body shop 101

[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif[/img] I've always left the body work to the "body guys", but I have noticed a few things a few minor things: Whenever you "work" the material...either with hammer and dolly, or with slide will stretch and grow. You may have to do some shrinking to get the high spots down. To shrink, you heat a spot the size of a dime and then cool it with a wet towell. You gradually work along the edges of the spot till it is once again even with the original body contour. To patch a hole, you put a piece IN BACK....gently hammer it till the center of the patch is even with the original material.....the patch will be a convex shape now.... then weld in the vee that is left around the hole. That leaves a good spot for filler, and it is very strong. That's the full extent of my body work knowledge. I'm really a frame and drivetrain guy[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img]

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-11-2000, 10:26 AM
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Re: Auto body shop 101

im a month ahead of you in teh body 101 class Jeff!

I got a book from my inlaws, an alder Chiltons body work book.

typical Chiltons, lots of mispellings, fair info, but it DOES tell what the differnt hammers and dollies are for. You can hammer on dolly or off dolly to raise or lower a panel , example.

I removed a dent from my hood, a the typical crease from it resting on teh windshield.

left hand with the dolly underneath, directly at the crease with UP pressure, then slight taps with the body hammer about an inch to the front or back of the crease and it goes away..

thats the basic idea.

grind it down to bare metal when you put on the filler, and get it mixed close to right, do a small section at a time or you wont be able to work it down properly.

get those 79 cent cheese graters to save your self some sanding!

pulling with teh slide hammer, only make holes right in the crease of the dent, and dont pullit out flush, leave it a little low and reform the contour with filler.

dont try any filling over 1/4 inch though if you can help it, thats what makes it hard!
its fun

77 CJ5, in a bunch of sanded and primered pieces
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-11-2000, 10:29 AM
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Re: Auto body shop 101

Hammer/Dolly work:
Basically, you hammer either "on dolly" using the dolly as a from to smooth a spot...
or "off Dolly" using the dolly to support and steady the thin sheet metal while hammering slight off the dolly's curvature. This method is used to move metal in relation to the spot contacting the dolly - sort of like if you were holding a piece of aluminum foil in the middle and pressing down next to where you are holding it vs. holding the foil around the edges and pressing the middle.
Note: The key to moving the sheet metal back is to start hammering where the sheet metal moved last during deformation. This usually means that you start in the section farthest away from the impact. This relieves the stress and helps the most damaged (moved) area to come back into place.
Drilling small holes can also be used to relieve stress as the metal comes back into place - especially near creases. These round holes often become ovals as work progresses.
These holes can also be used with a "pick" which you hook though these holes and pull while using your smoothing hammer around the area. This hammering allows the area being pulled to rise.
I found a couple of good auto body repair books at my local library which illustrated these techniques.
See my web site for more tips and illustrations.
When I started, my wheel well cut-out was on the tire and the top of the rear tub rail was "peaked" and I had deep creases everywhere.
You wont't believe how well I was able to push my entire rear quarter back into shape. It just takes a little knowledge of techniques and thought before raising your hammer.
Also, not too long ago, a web site was posted here pointing to a new auto body forum and help site. Maybe someone can repost this link.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-11-2000, 04:49 PM
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Re: Auto body shop 101

I learned my hammer technique as a framer also. Corrugated 16" hammers and body work don't mix. I have to really choke up on the hammer when doing body work to avoid the temptation to fix it all in one blow.


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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-11-2000, 11:30 PM
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Re: Auto body shop 101

Hey Jeff,

I saw some of your pictures. You like the tough stuff. You are just gonna go and find someplace new to roll that bad boy anyhow, so why not just weld some diamond plate on it? LOL

post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-11-2000, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Auto body shop 101

I have no absolutely no talent for this body work stuff. I pounded on it for a while, then left it alone for awhile(I was getting ready to use the 32 oz framing hammer). One of the biggest problems is that the left rear fender buckled when the corner impacted, so I need to correct the buckle in the fender before I can really get it smoothed out, I cant access the rear fender from underneath with any kind of striking angle with hammers. I stripped out the interior so i would have more room to work down both sides, and after fighting with it for a little longer, decided to apply the Durabak I just got yesterday from a freind. Thats a bit of a chore in itself, I also finished my new armor corners, I used 3/16" steel and got my Structural Steel Contractor to bend them for me. I just about have the corners smooth enough to prime for rust prevention and cover with the new armor.I hate to do work like that,but Im doing Rubicon next wekend and itll just get banged up anyway. Thanks for the helpfull tips.

89 Wrangler
If at first you dont succeed, your replacement will try and try again.
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